Preparing for Hurricanes & Other Natural Disasters

Over 6 years ago Super Storm Sandy hit along the East Coast of the US causing damages totaling over $70 billion. The storm was also responsible for killing more than 280 people. Major US cities experienced flooding, structural damage, and power outages which they were ill prepared for.  Businesses felt a huge impact, especially those who were not properly covered with business insurance.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey left behind an estimated $23 billion in damages in two counties in southeast Texas alone.  For some small businesses, it will take a long time to get back to where they were, while for others it could be the end.  So what can you do to protect your business against disasters such as these?

Business continuity plan: Plan for what you will do in the event of a natural disaster. Are you able to work from alternative premises? Is there somewhere safe nearby that might help you continue to run your business after disaster strikes? Make sure you have up to date staff and next of kin information including addresses in case of power and cell phone outages. Check with suppliers and partner companies about their disaster plans so you can ensure supply after a disaster. Consider purchasing CBI (contingent business interruption) insurance to protect your business against supply chain disruptions.

Check your insurance and review bi-annually: Make sure you business is covered for natural disasters of all types, loss of income and other expenses including payroll and that your coverage is adequate to recoup losses.

Be sensitive towards staff: Employees may have lost homes and possessions due to the natural disaster, so you may need to be flexible with hours and leave so that they can sort out their personal premises and families.

Protect your records: Ensure files are backed up on the web or a cloud and can be accessed from your phone especially policy documents, and staff information.

Record the damage:  Use photos and videos of the damage as well as copies of receipts for expenditure to back up your insurance claims.

Be prepared, be alert and keep safe.

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